State Agriculture department's engineering wing has 300 employees, but not one of its 99 tractors or 17 bulldozers is serviceable
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Aug 2: Mechanisation plays a very important role in the field of Agriculture, especially in a State like Assam where nearly 70 per cent of the people depend on cultivation with age-old farming practices.
The timeliness and ease of operations with judicious use of inputs are vital to increase production. Intensive cultivation is only possible by using newly developed farm machineries.
The Agriculture department in all the States have an engineering wing which provides custom-hiring facilities to cultivators at reasoble rates, as small and margil farmers cannot afford to purchase costly machines like tractors, bulldozers and newly developed equipments like Rotavator, Roto-seed drill, sugarcane cutter-planter etc.
Ironically, the Assam Agriculture department's engineering wing is virtually non-existent. All the ninety-nine tractors and seventeen bulldozers of the wing are defunct. In fact, officials admit that these are no longer serviceable.
However, the engineering wing has nearly 300 employees - 91 tractor/bulldozer operators, 118 assistant operators, 59 mechanics and 13 foremen. It is anybody's guess what these employees do with their machines lying defunct.
To "assist" the farmers, the State government now has to beg before the Central government for funds to provide machineries, including tractors and power-tillers to farmers at subsidized rates, a scheme that has provided more scope for corruption than anything else.